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Dana White: Here’s what happens to McGregor if he loses at UFC 257

There is a lot riding on Conor McGregor’s main event clash with Dustin Poirier later tonight (Sat., Jan. 23, 2021) at UFC 257 live on ESPN+ PPV from inside Etihad Arena on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Not only is this a rematch six years in the making but the outcome of the PPV headliner could map out the lightweight division moving forward.

McGregor, who is making his return to 155 pounds for the first time since losing to current UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov back in 2018, is hoping to use a win over “Diamond” to put himself in line for another title shot this year. With Khabib on the fence with retirement the promotion would love the idea of “Notorious” taking control in the lightweight division and actually trying to create a title reign unlike he did at featherweight.

However, McGregor isn’t guaranteed to win this weekend against Poirier. And with Khabib’s future in doubt it has cast a shadow over the lightweight division for the time being. The Irishman is close to a 3-1 favorite for his rematch with “Diamond,” but Poirier is a different fighter than the first time they fought and is looking to lock down his own title shot in 2021.

With the stakes growing and UFC 257 sure to attract millions of PPV buyers, McGregor’s need for a win may be at an all-time high. UFC president Dana White recently sat down with TMZ Sports to discuss the possibility of McGregor losing to Poirier at UFC 257 and what that might mean for the stacked lightweight division.

“People lose, man,” said White. “It happens. It’s part of the sport. Nothing happens. If he loses he goes back to the drawing board and comes back and fights another day.”

If McGregor happens to lose this weekend at UFC 257 it could mean the end of a potential rematch with Khabib. “Notorious” has been angling for another shot at the Russian champ ever since Khabib submitted McGregor back at UFC 229.

“I’m sure Poirier would like a rematch with Khabib, too,” said White. “Think about it. Charles Oliveira just came off an incredible win over Tony Ferguson, right? You got Poirier and McGregor fighting on Saturday and the co-main event is No. 6-ranked Dan Hooker versus Michael Chandler, who is making his debut in the UFC. This guy has been fighting everywhere outside of the UFC and is one of the all-time greats in the division. He wants to prove himself now here in the UFC. So anyone of these guys can end up fighting Khabib.”

What do you think, fight fans? How does the lightweight title scene play out if McGregor loses to Poirier at UFC 257?

Sound off! will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 257 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN+ and ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

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